It’s cool to watch the International Space Station fly overhead. The problem is you have to remember to check the sighting opportunities page to know when and if the station will be flying over your location.
Smartphones and tablet computers have apps that send alerts for station flyovers. But what if you don’t have either?
Spot the Station to the rescue!
A new service that was announced on Nov. 2, the 12th anniversary of a human presence on the space station, alerts subscribers to station-sighting opportunities. Alerts are sent as an email or as a text message hours before the station flies over the subscriber’s neighborhood. Only flyovers that are high enough in the sky and last long enough to view are announced in the alert.
You and your students may sign up to have alerts sent to your phone or email. You may also want to create a multimedia project using one of our space-station-related DIY Podcast modules:
• Space Station
• Lab Safety
• Solar Arrays
• Sports Demo
The last week of November and the first week of December will offer good sighting opportunities in many locations.
Spot the Station
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When we interviewed materials engineer Victoria (Torey) Long for the Failure Prevention module, she described the job that she and her teammates do in the failure analysis lab as NASA’s version of detective work. In their interviews, Long and materials engineer Clara Wright both mentioned something about their childhoods
that probably made them natural-born failure analysts. Long’s pastime was reading Nancy Drew mysteries. Wright liked to construct jigsaw puzzles.
If you have students who enjoy solving problems and mysteries, they probably will enjoy creating a multimedia project with the Failure Prevention module. They may also like reading the article CSI: NASA. It is about the failure analysis lab at Kennedy Space Center.
The lab, nicknamed “Malfunction Junction,” is the place where
mysteries are solved. The article intimates that the failure
analysis team is similar to TV’s crime investigators. They investigate
mishaps with rocket hardware. If something goes wrong with a launch, this is the team to call.
The article also gives hints about the type of personalities that are better suited for this kind of work. Who knows? A future engineer or failure analyst may be sitting in your classroom who never knew that this career choice is an option.
DIY Podcast: Failure Prevention
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Tune in to NASA TV on Nov. 15 at 11:35 a.m. EST to see students involved in the Student Spaceflight Experiments Program talk live with astronauts Suni Williams and Kevin Ford who are on the International Space Station.
SSEP is an educational research opportunity that allows students to design and send experiments to the space station through a partnership with NanoRacks, LLC. Williams has been involved in activating the latest round of SSEP experiments brought up on the Dragon spacecraft in early October.
The downlink, hosted at the National Air and Space Museum in Washington, D.C., takes place during International Education Week. IEW is a joint initiative between the U.S. Department of State and the U.S. Department of Education that celebrates the benefits of international education and exchange worldwide. Deputy Secretary of Education Tony Miller, NASM Director General Jack Dailey, Smithsonian Institute Assistant Secretary for Education and Access Claudine Brown, and the NASA Associate Administrator for Education Leland Melvin will participate in the program.
Watch the downlink; then build a multimedia project with the Do-It-Yourself Podcast module Space Station.
DIY Podcast HomePlease Note: If you leave a comment, do not include a link to your blog or other websites. We typically will not be able to approve your comment if you add a URL.